Friday, January 9, 2009

Grabovski suspension is deserved

News comes this afternoon that the league has suspended Mikhail Grabovski for three games for abuse of officials after his little temper tantrum last night.

And you know what? They got this one right.

I'm as thrilled as any Leafs fan to see the normally timid Grabovski get a little bit fired up for a change. I think he'd be fun to watch if he played with a bit of an edge, and I hope he keeps it up. But there is a line, and he went over it last night. You can't get physical with an official. Period.

Is it right that Grabovski gets three games for a little shove on a linesman, while Tom Kostopoulos gets the same for nearly ending Mike Van Ryn's career? Of course not, but it's an apples and oranges comparison. The rules are different for fellow players than they are for officials. And it goes without saying that they should be.

The league has specific rules in place for dealing with abuse of officials. Minor incidents are three games, major ones are ten or more. Once the league decides that abuse has taken place, there's very little room for judgement calls. Grabovski's case was clearly a minor offence, so the three games was automatic. And that's fair.

And while we're at it, let's bring it down a notch on the praise for Grabovski's tantrum. Yes, it's nice that -- for once -- a Maple Leaf seemed cranky about being on the receiving end of yet another lopsided loss. But Grabovski wasn't looking to fight. He knew where the linesmen were, he knew the situation was under control, and he was putting on an act. Let's not pretend our little guys are suddenly enforcers because they can pretend to want to fight and then wave to a crowd. That's what Sens fans are for.

So settle down, Leaf Nation. It may not have been much, but it was something and Grabovski deserves a short vacation for it.


  1. Thank you, DGB. Thank you for putting into words what's been going through my mind over and over for the past 24 hours. I was starting to worry that the entire Barilkosphere was going to blindly praise the Leafs, regardless of their actions. The rules regarding abuse of officials are clear and they had to be followed in Grabs' case. I also agree that he was acting like a petulant child (not your words, but I'm sure it's close). Grabs was certainly acting on emotion and frustration, but it doesn't excuse his behaviour. Thanks again.

  2. Boooooooooooo!

    Did you really see anything different from hundreds of fighters that try to get at each other and struggle with the linesman?

    As for the hissy fit, it's definitely nice to see some fire but I don't know that Grabbo was just putting on an act. He certainly seemed to be very upset at something Kostitsyn said.

    I was starting to worry that the entire Barilkosphere was going to blindly praise the Leafs, regardless of their actions.

    I'll have to be introduced to the portion of the Barilkosphere that blindly praises anything the Leafs do.

  3. Zero praise for Grabbo here. I want players on this team to be tough, come to the rink in a sour mood, play with a mean streak, and see opposing jerseys as enemies. I want them to be pissed off when they lose.

    Grabbo wasn't pissed off because his team lost, it was a personal tantrum stemming from a personal feud. His rep for being selfish is really starting to show merit. Hopefully Burke peddles him while he's still a top Calder trophy candidate - methinks it's a slow downhill career ride from here.

  4. PPP - OK, maybe my comment about blindly praising the Leafs was a bit extreme, but in this particular case, a lot of what I read centered around the idea that Grabs didn't deserve the suspension and that he was showing some guts. I disagree with that. He looked like a lot of skill players when they get upset - like a child having a hissy fit. And his gestures to the crowd as he left the ice made him look even worse. My apologies if I made it seem that the Barilkosphere doesn't hold the Leafs accountable when they feel the team is not performing/coaching/managing properly. That certainly isn't the case.

  5. Did you really see anything different from hundreds of fighters that try to get at each other and struggle with the linesman?

    I really do. He shoved the linesman. It was a little shove, but it was there.

    Grabs was already mad, he didn't like being taken down by the linesman, he got frustrated and he pushed him. It wasn't him trying to get at Kostitsyn, it was a "get away from me" shove. That's three games.

  6. Alright, after reading a bunch of post-game stuff, I admit I'm impressed with Grabbo's reaction to the whole mess. A public apology, a "it won't happen again" statement, and an expressed desire to shake the hand of the linesman all stand up big in my book. For a young kid to man-up to his embarrassing actions all the while knowing Kostistyn is watching and smirking from afar shows a ton of character. I completely expected him to keep quiet and brood. Glad this isn't the case.

    And for the record (somewhat related), I hate when players wave to fans post-fracas. Milan Lucic would be my favourite player right now if he would just tone that shit down.